The Walking Dead alum Jeffrey DeMunn, who played Dale Horvath in the first two seasons of the show, asked to be killed off when showrunner Frank Darabont exited the show.
“Dale’s death was my decision,” DeMunn told Cleveland.com. “I was furious about how Frank [Darabont] was pushed out of the show. I spent a week not being able to take a full breath. And then I realized, ‘Oh, I can quit.’ So I called them and said, ‘It’s a zombie show. Kill me. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ It was an immense relief to me.”
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Darabont was the first showrunner for The Walking Dead and left the show in 2011. He has since sued AMC several times, alleging that his monetary disputes lead to his wrongful termination. It’s clear now that DeMunn fell squarely on Darabont’s side of this feud, which led to Dale’s early death.
A lot of people have died on The Walking Dead over the years, but Dale’s death came as a shock to fans. In the comics, Dale makes it to the cannibal storyline depicted in Season 5 of the AMC television show, but he was killed off in Season 2, even before Shane.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC, The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan.